Gamer-Teacher: "Trigger Words" for Gamer Distraction

"Legionary: a professional soldier in the Roman Army." Those were the words that appeared on my whiteboard above a picture of a Roman soldier wielding the iconic Gladius and Scutum. Before the lesson could begin, one student pulled an inquisitive face and asked: "isn't that what the bad guys are called in Destiny?". » 9/25/14 5:13pm 9/25/14 5:13pm

​Which Game Characters would help you Move House?

A month ago, I moved into my new home. The house is a big project in itself, with lots of renovation work and plenty of TLC required. Between the DIY and the new school term, I've had very little time to game in the last few weeks. That hasn't stopped me thinking about video games, which is how we've arrived at the… » 9/17/14 2:46pm 9/17/14 2:46pm

​How Does Your Game Keep You Contained? Part 2

The hero seeks a new adventure. Every Mutant Ewok of the Decidedly-Evil Forest has been murdered; the Casually Racist Imps have each been forcefully evicted from the Cave of Moaners; the hero has made so many Dragon's Teeth necklaces that they've considered setting up a little jewellery store in the city centre.… » 9/02/14 4:00pm 9/02/14 4:00pm

How Does Your Game Keep You Contained? Part 1

A lone hero seeks adventure in a dangerous world. In one hand they clasp an ancient sword made from the devil's weirdest nightmares. In the other hand they hold a giant handgun so powerful that it doesn't need to be loaded to kill from two miles away. From head to toe, the hero is clad in armour that prevents… » 8/21/14 1:00pm 8/21/14 1:00pm

Do You Care for Quick Time Events?

I love Quick Time Events. There, I said it. Don't worry; I'm aware that bad QTEs exist. After all, gamers often state categorically that they "love video games" knowing full well that bad games exist. Similarly, I'm fond of Quick Time Events despite the fact that many examples are quite awful. Quite a lot of them… » 8/13/14 12:00pm 8/13/14 12:00pm

School Trips to Game Worlds: A Space Station for All Subjects

Two weeks ago, I argued the case for an educational visit to Rapture. Last week, I set my sites on Neo-Paris. The third video game location I have in mind would probably make for the best school trip ever. » 8/06/14 2:01pm 8/06/14 2:01pm

​School Trips to Game Worlds: Who fancies a Sci-Fi Croissant?

After finishing my first playthrough of Assassin's Creed 2, I was left with a singular thought etched into my mindset. It was not the idea of being an assassin – what it would be like to run across roof troops and leap from inexplicable heights into bails of straw. No, I was left with a strong desire to visit Venice.… » 7/30/14 6:05pm 7/30/14 6:05pm

​School Trips to Game Worlds: Where would you go?

Two weeks ago I was on a school trip in Berlin. Each time I go on this trip (this was the fifth time) a student looks up at the Reichstag building, turns to me and demands to know if that was the building 'they' assaulted at the end of Call of Duty: World at War. Every trip, without fail, and it always makes me… » 7/23/14 6:18pm 7/23/14 6:18pm

​More Reasons to be a Gamer-Teacher

A student once asked me if Richard the Lionheart was ginger (we'd just finished a lesson on the Crusades). I stated that, yes, records show that King Richard I had red hair. The student gleefully announced that he had seen Richard in the city of Arsuf when playing Assassin's Creed. Once again, a video game has… » 7/03/14 4:30am 7/03/14 4:30am

​What Game Can You Always Depend On?

Some of the greatest games only get one play through. Whether the adventure lasts for ten hours or one hundred, or occupies your gaming time for several months, there will come a point where the most entertaining game fulfils its purpose. The story is complete; all achievements are unlocked; each puzzle solved; every… » 6/19/14 4:54pm 6/19/14 4:54pm

Gamer-Teacher: The Execution of Yoshi Cromwell

The stage is set. Mario's desire for a male child is an ever-growing concern. His first wife, Pauline, has failed to produce the heir he craves. Age and stress have taken a toll on her body. Mario wants a new, younger wife that will secure his succession, and the vibrant Princess Peach has presented herself as an… » 6/09/14 2:00pm 6/09/14 2:00pm

Gamer-Teacher: Mario and Henry VIII

I try to be very careful when mixing gaming with education. These are two of my major interests but not every student will appreciate gaming references punctuating every lesson. Nevertheless, a comparison between video game and subject matter is sometimes too tempting to pass up. In the case of the infamous King Henry… » 6/02/14 3:00pm 6/02/14 3:00pm

​Returning to Pokémon: Better to Faint With Honour

In my mind, there are few competitions nobler and more respectable than a Pokémon Battle. Pokémon Blue demonstrated to me that even the wildest creature can conduct themselves with fairness and restraint in each encounter. No words are uttered between combatants, yet each knows there place and fights with the upmost… » 5/26/14 4:00pm 5/26/14 4:00pm

​Returning to Pokémon: confused by Poké Balls.

Last week, I touched on my reactions to Pokémon after skipping four generations. I've enjoyed the game so far but many of the new elements and changes have left me feeling old or confused. Last week I referred to the overwhelming sensation that Pokémon Y seemed to be in much more of a hurry than Pokémon Blue. Whilst… » 5/22/14 11:00am 5/22/14 11:00am

​Returning to Pokémon: Why is everybody in a rush?

I've often found that I respond to new ideas in an open-minded way. I can be relied on the react favourably to change. A shift from the expected norm will not cause be to moan or grumble. If change is for the better, than I can easily get on board. Nevertheless, a lot of change all at once can cause me a few problems.… » 5/15/14 5:01pm 5/15/14 5:01pm